Chaitanya Tamhane's Marathi film The Disciple selected for Venice Film Festival

Updated: 30 July, 2020 08:32 IST | Shaheen Parkar | Mumbai

Big moment for India as Chaitanya Tamhane's The Disciple selected in the competition section of Venice Film Festival, 20 years after Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding bagged top honour.

A still from The Disciple
A still from The Disciple

Almost two decades after Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding (2001) bagged the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Chaitanya Tamhane's Marathi film, The Disciple, has been selected in the competition section of the 77th edition of the prestigious gala. Scheduled from September 2 to September 12, it is one of the first film festivals to be held in the wake of the pandemic with strict social distancing guidelines and screenings in outdoor venues.

Tamhane is overwhelmed that his sophomore directorial venture is set to compete with Majid Majidi's Sun Children and Andrei Konchalovsky's Dear Comrades, among others. "The competition section has showcased some of the best films in cinema history. The selection of The Disciple is a milestone in the Indian independent cinema movement. I am relieved that it has found such a great start even in these tough times," says the director. The Disciple, which is set in the world of Indian classical music, chronicles the journey of a vocalist, who has to balance life in contemporary Mumbai with his chosen vocation. "We have poured every ounce of energy and effort into the film over the last four years," adds the filmmaker.

Chaitanya Tamhane. pic/ afp
Chaitanya Tamhane. Pic/ AFP

Counted among the finest storytellers in Indian cinema, Tamhane will return to the festival after six years. His directorial debut, Court (2014), had premiered at the gala, where it bagged the Best Film in the Orizzonti section and the Lion of the Future award. Back home too, the film — a commentary on the Indian judicial system — bagged the National Award and was India's official entry to the 2016 Oscars.

Producer Vivek Gomber, who has teamed up with Tamhane after the 2014 outing, says, "I hope this makes it easier for new voices in our country to follow their paths."

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First Published: 30 July, 2020 07:18 IST

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